The foreign policy of Texas and Oregon in the 19th century evolved through tremendous moves that marked the history of the United States. Tyler was the president of the Unites States in 1841 and this was the time when Texas and Oregon faced a lot of political shifts in history. As the president, he framed his foreign policy to rebuild Texas from its possibility of annexation during the American civil war.
As part of Texas foreign policy, Tyler negotiated for a treaty with the Great Britain to resolve a border dispute between Canada and Maine. After this treaty, Tyler started a campaign that Britain intended to annexe Texas from Mexico if the US did not move in in response. Tyler had planned that if Britain took Texas, he would stop slavery thereby forcing cotton farmers to move back again interfering with the economy in the south.
In 1844, James K. Polk a Democrat politician started advocating for the annexation of Texas. His economic policy was based on the fact that allowing slave trade would enhance the expansion of the south in the westwards direction. This according to Polk was to resolve the conflict between the North and the South (Harris 1969, p. 19) .
Regarding Oregon, Polk came up with the idea that Oregon be divided between Great Britain and America at the 49th parallel. This was a mark of the kind of conflict that existed regarding the annexation of Oregon. The conflict of the annexation of Oregon were that Great Britain claimed to have had explored it while the United States claimed to have had most settlements there (David 1973, p. 32).
The politics of the annexation of Texas were highly based on and motivated by slavery. The slave trade with the south was to benefit from its annexation while the north was to suffer from the presence of the Britain forces in Canada. Polk’s election as the president and his expansionist policies marked Americas destiny to expand both its territory and its power relations. The idea of manifest destiny came into existence under his rule. It was used to mean the expansion of America as a continent. It meant the growth of providence and the development of great liberty in America. The proponents of manifest destiny believed in the support of God in the expansion process.
The domestic policy of Texas was basically economic based and dictated by slavery (Lenard 1954, p. 73). Polk as an expansionist went ahead and proposed the opening of the pacific ocean for trade with other continents. They looked forward to a sustained agricultural nature of economy based on cotton and other crops in the United States. As the president of the United States, Polk decided to find a corporative decision from the congress regarding Oregon. He did this to share part of the unpopular decision with the congress for the purpose of national unity in the United States.
Manifest destiny was a post colonial term used by American politicians and leaders in the 1840s to express their continental integration and expansion. The phrase was used as a sign of a shared sense of national destiny for Americans. The idea came to existence due to the settlers who had moved to the country to live in freedom and liberty. By then, America was referred to as the New World which gave opportunity to settlers present there to realize their dreams.
The United States was built based on the dream of these settlers who adopted this phrase manifest destiny as their foreign policy (Dulles 1955, p. 61) . According to the architects of this policy, it isolated Americans from the international affairs but concentrated more on continental expansion and development. This dream of expansion was broad and it included the the annexation of part of the Mexican land north of Rico Grande. The policies long term goal was to make America an imperial power. The current foreign policy of America has its roots in the manifest destiny of the 1800s since this was the time America focused on being a super power.
As a foreign policy, America used the philosophy of manifest destiny to expand to the north with the purchase of Louisiana Territory and to the west through the war to annexe Mexico. Americans believed in a special destiny for the nation based on this foundation that enabled it to spread with confidence and moral assuredness.
Expansionists in America were grounded in morality and legality and used the principles of Charles Darwin in territorial ownership. Darwin principles states that only fit species survived in the natural environment. Americans said that their destiny was not limited to North America but tied to the global community (Albert 1935, p. 67). They believed in their fitness that they would survive as other countries like Texas and Oregon got eliminated. Using the expansionist policy, the oceans were not considered barriers but bridges joining continents together that would lead to prominence through out the world.
The destiny was based on the the concepts like those of absolute victory. Americans believed in the expansive future and that they were a nation of human progress. To them, truth and providence were their guiding motives in the proclamation of getting millions of land. On top of these, they believed that no monarchy shall prevail against Americans.
Albert, K. (1935) Manifest Destiny. New York: Imprint Pub.
David, M. (1973) Diplomacy of annexation. Columbia: Book Publishers Union.
Dulles, F. (1955) Americas Rise to Power. New York: Harper Pub.
Harris, N. (1969) History of the US. New York: Winston Pub.
Lenard, D. (1954) American Administration History. New York: Ocean Publishers.